There was a season in our life when my husband and I faced an unusual issue of extra cash in hand every month. This was over and above our monthly expenditures and was not a normal occurrence in our life. Mostly, we would have just enough for our needs or even less than what was needed for our daily upkeep. We were faced with a serious dilemma: what to do with this excess? I was in a quandary since I was totally in charge of housekeeping and managing the family. My husband trusted me to take care of things at home fully, while he took care to earn and provide for us.

Lack was not new to me and I had become an expert in managing our family in times of need and want. Poverty was a familiar ground to me, prosperity was not! I was now in a new uncharted territory and needed guidance. As usual I turned to the Scriptures and found my answer there. What I found was THE PRINCIPLE OF JOSEPH!

In the Bible we see Joseph, a dreamer, becoming an interpreter of dreams to Pharoah, the sovereign of Eygpt. The Pharaoh has a dream of seven healthy cows being eaten up by seven lean cows and another dream of seven healthy ears of grain being swallowed up by seven weak ears of grain. With heavenly revelation and insight, Joseph diagnoses as the dreams together issuing a warning of things to come: there would seven years of extreme plenty followed by seven years of utter famine.
Joseph, not only interpreted the dream, but with the wisdom of God, born of training and experience, advised the King on the course of action to take in that season. His counsel, SAVE UP THE EXCESS DURING YEARS OF PLENTY TO TIDE OVER THE LACK IN THE YEARS OF NEED!

Thrilled with the simplicity of the answer to my question. I followed that principle and put aside the excess in a post office saving account. Just a few months later, a crisis situation rose in our family wherein we needed to have ready cash in our hand for expenses. What I had put aside helped us tide over in this very demanding time and gave us the freedom to handle it without the pressure of running around for resources!

Most often, when we are given a bonus, a raise or are fortunate to have surplus in our hands, we tend to spend it on what we have already desired to have. Surfing online shopping sites or window shopping or scanning magazines for deals has become a favorite pastime and entertainment for us. In doing so, we automatically build up a repertoire of wants and desires which we try to fulfil in the seasons we have excess or surplus. Nothing wrong in doing so when you have a planned budget to catch deals during, say a festival season; but doing it as an obsessive impulse is quite detrimental to our financial well being.
When I worked in a government office, I used to admire the thrift and saving acumen of a particular community/ people group in our nation. Any increase in salary or other benefits, they would immediately start an RD or participate in saving chit etc. They confined their needs and wants to a selected money slab and did not try to increase their lifestyle in any way, very content to be in that socioeconomic level. So when times of need came, they were well prepared in advance for that need. It was not that they did not live well, but it is that they have an inherent business and financial knowhow that is not known to many.

Even though I often faltered and did not follow the Joseph Principle, yet this lesson became a fundamental portion of my life and I have it taught it to others too. Life has come a full circle for me and now and I am again in a season of putting this into practice. Now I am equipped with wisdom to make the right decisions.

The way we handle what life throws at us is a true measure of our wisdom, maturity and understanding. We live in very fluid and unstable times and often our daily existence is standing on thin base of life, an ever-changing business environment and very uncertain financial condition. Gone are the days when a person could work at one job in one place in one organization for thrifty forty years before retiring with a sizable pension as well as savings such as PF, gratuity etc. In such perilous times, we cannot afford to build our lives, both family and individual on sinking sands of consumerism and materialism. We need to be careful managers, shrewd investors and wise planners.A note in passing: Joseph, after his wise counsel and exhibition of sharp business strategy, was appointed in charge of the very plan he mooted and became second only to Pharoah. In spite of being a foreigner and a slave in the land, Joseph was appointed administrator over the whole nation, having complete power and authority over everything. Nothing could be done without hai permission and he gained it all by the nobility of his mind. He became a wealthy man and led Eygpt to hold perfect sway even in the most dire times and made the country of his adoption to be head over all the nations around. How we handle what life throws at us is a true measure of our wisdom, maturity and understanding.
Let’s learn from ancient wisdom. Learn the art of managing a flood. Learn to handle the overflow. Live by the Principle of Joseph. Let your own wisdom pave your own path of success and honor!

*Photos courtesy


Recently my family and I have been having a short season of total rest – son had annual factory shutdown-cum-leave time, daughter and son-in-law vacation time with us, other son successfully completed university admission procedures, hubby retired from work and I had my heart and hands full with all of these as a bouquet of satisfaction!

An unprecedented time of total tuning down caused me to truly understand how totally refreshing rest is!

Pulling back to rest, stepping away from schedule, relaxing from intensive work, moving away to new location, spending quality time together, intentional laying aside of activity and cessation from busyness are sure keys to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual renewal. Such overhauling of all systems is mandatory necessity for holistic life and living today. It is not an optional luxury in these stressful times that we live in, but a real-time urgent necessity and need. It is more commonsensical and wise to spend for and on a timeout, rather than on costly medical procedures and treatment. Prevention is surely always better than cure, and besides, this one has literally no side effects to it!

Ironically, many form and organize even a vacation into a pressurised block of time, packing it chock-full of various events and activities. It is distressing to see such folks return from a holiday more tense than ever before. Imagine making even a vacation into a strenous workout!

Most often than not, what is needed is just simple rest and good nutritional intake rather than a costly outing that strains the budget, adding to the load. Nothing is so good as a long, alarm-free sleep, bolstered with and by a lack of deadlines. Just letting go of an agenda will work wonders for many a one who is simply used to running a constant mechanical life. Even the pendulum of a clock is brought to rest to release tension and restore equilibrium. A combination of good food, good sleep and good solitude is often a surefire and simple remedy for stress!

Coming apart to a desert or desolate place truly helps in realigning priorities, weighing pros and cons of activity, weeding out the irrelevant and focusing on only needed realities. Without an intentional time of solitude and reflection, we would end up expending our energy, scattering our attention and generally getting distracted from realisitic ground necessities. That’s why attending a funeral often helps in coming to terms with real life, for it pulls us up and out of a benumbed stupor of activity and frenzied running after many things. It is pressing the pause button on our mad routine to assess the fragility and frailty of human existence. It helps take stock of and accept our humanness.

A sabbath rest and sabbatical time is the need of the hour for sustainable living and conservation of strength. Without renewal and rest we would soon, without effort, unconsciously slide into robotic existential lifestyle. We would probably soon reach an early grave.

Let’s wake up to the need for some, plain, good, old-fashioned rest. Let’s come apart before we become jaded and come apart!

*Photo courtesy: